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Meeting Summary for April 19th, 2011 | News

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Meeting Summary for April 19th, 2011
News, Politics
Meeting Summary for April 19th, 2011

Meeting Video at this link: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/14140052

Build Health Sciences Center at Erie Community College’s City Campus—The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by North District Council Member Joseph Golombek, Jr. and Ellicott District Council Member Darius G. Pridgen supporting the construction of the Erie Community College (“ECC”) Health Sciences Center for Excellence at the ECC City Campus. Erie County Executive Chris Collins has proposed building a $30 million Health Sciences Center for Excellence at ECC’s North Campus in Amherst, New York. This upgrade to ECC’s campus facilities will benefit all Erie County students and can be a vital improvement that helps rebrand the college and attract and retain top-notch talent. However, ECC’s often neglected City Campus, despite being the most accessible and conveniently located campus in Western New York, is still the smallest of ECC’s three-campus system. However, ECC’s City Campus is in close proximity to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, one of New York State’s leading economic development and health sciences research hubs. The Council maintains that the proposed ECC Health Sciences Center for Excellence is an unprecedented opportunity to link health sciences students in Erie County to the job, internship, and networking opportunities of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. There is plenty of room to grow ECC’s City Campus at two 1.3 acre sites that Erie County owns at 45 Oak Street and 100 North Division Street. The Council is urging the ECC Board of Trustees to give their strongest consideration to the underutilized 45 Oak Street parcel for its Health Sciences Center for Excellence. Further, the Council offers its support to the ECC Board of Trustees to help improve ECC’s neglected City Campus, to forge a stronger connection between its students and the thousands of jobs being created at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

 

Recycling in the City of Buffalo —The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Fillmore District Council Member David A. Franczyk directing the City of Buffalo Department of Law to draft an ordinance for consideration by the Common Council to comply with the New York State recycling law. New York State law requires each municipality to enact a local law or ordinance requiring that garbage be “separated into recyclable, reusable or other components for which economic markets for alternate uses exist”. The City of Buffalo previously enacted a law but it only partially complies with the state law. The City requires all commercial users but not residential users to separate out recyclable materials (§ 216-43). The Council anticipates adopting the necessary ordinance amendment to comply with the New York State law in the near future.

 

Benefit Corporation Legislation Bill—The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Council Members Michael J. LoCurto, David A. Rivera, and Michael P. Kearns strongly urging the New York State (“NYS”) Senate and Assembly to pass the legislation bills that would allow for the creation of benefit corporations in NYS. A benefit corporation (“B-Corp”) is designed to harness the power of business in order to solve social and environmental problems. As a B-Corp, companies have a legal responsibility to community stakeholders, rather than just shareholders, and are therefore held accountable to environmental stability, social benefit, and monetary profit. B-Corps are significantly more likely to contribute to the community and environment. The NYS legislation that would allow for the creation of B-Corps was passed in the NYS Senate in June 2010 but held up for further examination in the NYS Assembly. Recently the bill has regained momentum. The B-Corp Legislation bill would give entrepreneurs and investors the option to establish and invest in businesses that meet higher standards of corporate purpose, accountability, and transparency without increasing regulation or impacting the NYS budget. The Council maintains that NYS should actively seek to create incentives for the establishment of B-Corps, which sees its purpose as serving the public interest. The City of Buffalo has the potential to benefit largely from this legislation and permitting the creation of B-Corps is a big step towards establishing a more sustainable living economy and community in the City and throughout Western New York.

 

Transparency of Citizens Advisory Committee on Reapportionment—The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Council Members Darius G. Pridgen, Bonnie E. Russell, Joseph Golombek, Jr., and Demone A. Smith requesting that all meetings of the Citizens Advisory Committee on Reapportionment (“CACR”) be streamed live on the internet and posted on the City of Buffalo website within three days following the meeting. Openness and transparency in government have been constant requests by City residents. Transparency, constituent access, and full disclosure are all keys to maintaining and building trust between constituents and bodies of government. The Common Council currently streams videos of its meetings on the internet and records them audibly and visually for playback to the public by means of the City of Buffalo’s Cable Access Television (“CATV”) Government Channel and via the City’s website shortly after meetings occur. The Council maintains that the work of the CACR is of major importance to City residents and citizens should be given the same access to rapid, transparent information as they receive for Common Council proceedings. The Council is further requesting that all CACR minutes, draft maps and any other written or digital information be made available on the City’s website and that all meetings of the CACR be played back as soon as possible on CATV Government Channel.

 

Amending the Police Commissioner Job Requirements—Upon the recommendation of its Committee on Legislation, the Council adopted a resolution sponsored by North District Council Member Joseph Golombek, Jr. showing support for amending the City Charter to require that the Commissioner of the City of Buffalo Police Department (“BPD”) have at least a bachelor’s degree as part of the minimum job requirements. The proposed Charter change would require that: “The Commissioner of Police shall have either (a) a degree from an accredited college or university and at least five years’ experience in law enforcement; or (b) an equivalent of training and experience sufficient to indicate ability to perform duties of this position.” The Council maintains that although the current Charter sets minimum standards for the Commissioner of Police, these requirements need to be updated. Currently, the surrounding towns of Amherst, Cheektowaga and Tonawanda require their Police Chiefs to have a college degree. In a related matter, the Council referred to its Committee on Legislation for further discussion Local Law Introductory Number 2 sponsored by north District Council Member Joseph Golombek, Jr. amending Section 13-3 of the Charter of the City of Buffalo in relation to the Department of Police.

 

Implementing a City of Buffalo “Treebate” Program—The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Delaware District Council Member Michael J. LoCurto and co-sponsored by Niagara District Council Member David A. Rivera expressing support for the implementation of a “Treebate” program in the City of Buffalo. The City of Buffalo hopes to manage stormwater runoff as a valuable resource to replenish groundwater supplies and curb pollution. City residents have a stake in the environmental quality of stormwater runoff that inevitably makes its way into Buffalo waterways, including Lake Erie, the Buffalo and Niagara Rivers, and other water sources. Planting trees has been proven to reduce stormwater runoff, increase groundwater recharge, increase the filtering of air pollutants, and reduce greenhouse gases and erosion. The Council maintains that increasing the amount of trees planted in the City of Buffalo will improve the general quality of the land, air, and water that all residents depend on. One way to increase residential tree plantings in the City is to provide a financial incentive to do so. The “Treebate” program, pioneered in Portland, Oregon, provides a monetary credit on a resident’s sewer bill in a return for planting trees. A City of Buffalo program would increase public involvement in the environment and complement the initiatives of City-partnered programs such as Re-Tree Western New York.

 

Support Buffalo Place Inc. Application for a New York State Main Street Program (“NYSMSP”) Grant—The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Ellicott District Council Member Darius G. Pridgen supporting an application by Buffalo Place Inc. for a NYSMSP grant. Buffalo Place Inc. intends to use the grant funds to improve commercial and residential units within the Theater District. The Council maintains that a NYSMSP grant would help rejuvenate the historic Theater District which includes Main and Pearl Streets between Tupper and Chippewa Streets and the adjacent Electric Tower Block of Main Street, and in general improve the downtown business corridor.

 

Annual Allen West Festival—The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Ellicott District Council Member Darius G. Pridgen granting the Allentown Association, Inc. permission to conduct the 13th Annual Allen West Art Festival. The purpose of the festival is to promote fine arts and crafts and support those talented individuals who create such work. The event will take place the weekend of June 11th and 12th 2011 between the hours of 10:00 am and 6:00 pm each day and the streets will be closed to general traffic from 6:00 am until 8:00 pm. The event will be conducted in the area bounded by North Street and Symphony Circle on the north, Elmwood Avenue on the east, Virginia Street on the south, and Orton and Cottage Streets on the west.

 

Bond Resolutions – The Council approved funding for the following projects:

 

City of Buffalo Projects

 

 

  • South District Infrastructure Improvements-- $450,000
  • New Fire Apparatus Acquisition-- $965,900 
  • Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (“BNMC”) Phase II-B-- $171,200
  • Vehicle Purchase- Streets Division-- $675,000
  • BNMC Phase III-- $53,500
  • Bridge Rehabilitation- Various-- $457,960
  • Elmwood Avenue Infrastructure Improvements-- $139,100
  • Erie Canal Harbor Streets Phase III-- $53,500
  • Fruitbelt Redevelopment-- $90,415
  • Genesee Gateway Streetscapes Reconstruction-- $150,000
  • Lovejoy District Streetscapes Reconstruction-- $400,000
  • Masten District Infrastructure Improvements-- $253,632
  • Richmond Street Lighting Installation-- $300,000
  • South Park Loop Bridge Rehabilitation-- $42,800
  • West Ferry Street Lift Bridge Rehabilitation-- $214,000
  • Infrastructure Improvements - Citywide-- $5,146,561
  • Broadway Depot Roof Replacement-- $107,000
  • Broadway Market Improvements-- $240,750
  • City Court Emergency Generator & Electrical Upgrades-- $342,400
  • City Court Prisoner Lock-up-- $1,405,000
  • City Owned Building Improvements - Various-- $642,000
  • Comprehensive Condition Assessment-- $468,576
  • Community Center Electrical Upgrades – Various-- $133,750
  • Community Center HVAC & Mechanical Upgrades – Various-- $197,950
  • Community Center Roof replacements – Various-- $230,050
  • Downtown Ball Park (Coca Cola Field) Improvements-- $188,320
  • Fire Station Rehabilitation – Various-- $240,750
  • Kleinhans Music Hall Revitalization-- $240,750
  • Museum of Science Heat Pump Replacement-- $80,250
  • Museum of Science HVAC Improvements-- $74,900
  • Pan American Building Annexes Window Replacement-- $53,500
  • Police Headquarters Renovation-- $202,444
  • Public Art Restoration/Conservation-- $223,000
  • Sheas Boiler Replacement-- $187,250
  • Sheas Emergency Generator-- $100,580
  • Sheas Fire Escape-- $18,190
  • Sheas Stagehouse Brick-- $107,000
  • Zoo Main Animal Building Improvements-- $150,000
  • Broderick Park Infrastructure Improvements-- $750,000
  • North Buffalo Hockey Rink Improvements-- $321,000
  • Parks Infrastructure Improvements – Citywide-- $1,605,000
  • Parks and Recreation Vehicles and Equipment Acquisition-- $535,000
  • Tree Removals & Plantings – Citywide-- $1,305,000
  • Demolition – Emergency Conditions – Citywide-- $2,686,022

 

Buffalo Board of Education Projects

 

  • General Construction- Various Schools-- $4,900,000

 

Banners to be Hung in the City of Buffalo

  • Delaware District
    • The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Delaware District Council Member Michael J. LoCurto giving permission to the Greek Orthodox Church to hang a banner on Delaware Avenue in front of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation located at 146 West Utica Street. The banner will celebrate the Annual Hellenic Festival and will be displayed from May 1, 2011 through June 5, 2011.
    • Ellicott District
      • The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Ellicott District Council Member Darius G. Pridgen giving permission to the Trinity Episcopal Church located at 371 Delaware Avenue to hang a banner across Delaware Avenue directly in front of the church. The banner will promote the annual Trinity White Elephant Sale and will be displayed from May 1, 2011 through May 23, 2011.
      • Niagara District
        • The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Niagara District Council Member David A. Rivera giving permission to the Westminster Economic Development Initiative (“WEDI”) to hang a banner on a City light pole at 244 Grant Street to promote the West Side Bazaar. The West Side Bazaar acts as an incubator for start-up businesses by providing entrepreneurs with a small, attractive, and inexpensive retail space and mentoring services. These businesses will hopefully grow and be able to expand into their own retail space, thereby securing economic self-sufficiency and furthering business development on Grant Street.

 

Increased Appropriation – The Council approved the transfer of $2,582,000 from the City of Buffalo Unreserved Fund Balance to the City of Buffalo Department of Law for prior year judgment and claims.

 

Sale of City Owned Property—The Council approved the sale of the following City owned properties:

  • Ellicott District
    • 337 and 357 Jefferson Avenue was sold to First Calvary Missionary Baptist Church for $6,000  
    • Fillmore District
      • 125 Bissell Avenue was sold to Mrs. Frances Costley and Ms. Robin  Nannette Costley  for $1,500  
      • 113, 114, and 118 Woltz Avenue was sold to the Crescent Village Muslim Community Center, Inc. for $4,500  

 

Appointments

  • The Council appointed the following individual to the Joint Commission to Examine Police Reorganization:
    • Jose Rodriguez
    • The Council approved the appointment of the following individual to a position within the Department of Permit and Inspection Services at a step above the base salary:
      • Alan Brown was appointed to the position of Account Clerk Typist
      • The Council accepted the appointment of the following individuals to positions within various City of Buffalo Departments at the base salary:
        • Department of Community Services and Recreational Programming
          • Deputy Commissioner of Community Services
            • Otis Barker, Sr.
  • Department of Public Works
    • Account Clerk Typist
      • Lisa Lockwood
      • Kim Kopnak
      • John Reid
      • Truck Driver
        • Krista Feldmann
        • Park Utility Worker
          • Lisanne Lester
  • Department of Assessment and Taxation
    • Account Clerk Typist
      • Rachel Martin
      • Anpalagan Kanagaratnam
      • Caulfield Mary
      • The Council accepted the appointment of the following individual to seasonal positions within various City of Buffalo Departments at the base salary:
        • Department of Parking
          • Laborer II
            • Donald Kane, Jr.
  • Department of Public Works
    • Laborer II
      • Gerald Brinkworth
      • Chester Nicometi

 

 

License and Permit Approvals—Upon the recommendation of the Department Permit & Inspection Services, the Council approved the following license and permit applications:

  • Delaware District
    • Permit to Convert a Storefront into a Sit-In Restaurant
      • N. Abraham, agent of property located at 1669 Hertel Avenue
  • Permit to Re-establish Restaurant and Add Outdoor Café  
    • D. Andriaccio, owner of property located at 1264 Hertel Avenue
  • Permit to Enlarge a Sidewalk Café
    • J. Lyons, agent of property located at 1318 Hertel Avenue
    • Ellicott District
      • Restaurant Dance License
        • Adonia’s located at 20 Allen Street
  • Sidewalk Café License
    • Atmosphere @62 located at 488 Franklin Street
    • Pure Live located at 67 West Chippewa Street
  • Lodging House License
    • Nickel City Properties located at 77 Johnson Park
  • Permit for a Free Standing Sign
    • J. Hazel, agent of property located at 564 Dodge Street
  • Permit to Convert Existing Day Care Center to Dog Day Care & Training
    • T. Muto, owner of property located at 484 Niagara Street
    • Niagara District
      • Food Store License
        • United Grocery & Halal Meat Inc. located at 331 Vermont Street

 

Claims, Contracts, Change orders & Agreements

  • The Council approved the following contract change orders submitted by the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works (“DPW”):
    • The contract with TVGA Consultant for the Kenmore Avenue Reconstruction Project was increased by $90,815 for additional services related to the design phase of the project. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $1,244,139 and with this change the contract will increase to $1,334,954.
    • The contract with Bergmann Associates, Inc. for the Elmwood-Chippewa Signals Project was increased by $19,458 for additional services necessary to complete the design phase of the project. Of the increased amount the City is responsible for five percent of the cost, approximately $972, with the remaining percentage of the project cost being funded by the Federal and New York State governments.  
    • The contract with Hatch Mott MacDonald for the Milling and Resurfacing of City Streets-North Buffalo Project was increased by $16,073 to retain the project consultant for an additional month and a half in order to comply with Federal Highway Administration (“FHWA”) Federal Audit requirements. Initially, the project was funded for six (6) months based on a construction inspection budget of $97,560.
    • The contract for the Centennial Pool Alterations Project was increased by $36,870 for additional construction management costs due to unforeseen project delays. The contract was initially awarded in the amount of $2,263,660 and with this and prior changes the contract will increase to $2,371,924.
  • Upon the request of the Mayor of the City of Buffalo, the Council:
    • Authorized revocable License Agreements to facilitate the immediate implementation of certain Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation’s (“ECHDC”) 2011 Summer Season “Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper” Quality of Life initiatives at the Canal Side and Central Wharf areas of the City’s Inner Harbor Waterfront area. ECHDC’s main effort has been to reclaim the inner harbor and make it user friendly for high volume general access, pedestrian and recreational use. The public is in need of more public restrooms and restaurant/dining options. In addition, ECHDC’s arrangements with Buffalo Place, Inc. have resulted in many recreational and musical events being planned and scheduled at the Inner Harbor areas for Summer 2011. ECHDC has made arrangements to fund the introduction of a “food outlet” and a temporary restroom and shower trailer at the inner harbor Canal Side/Central Wharf areas. Additionally, ECHDC has made further arrangements to immediately fund and construct a Boardwalk expansion/temporary asphalt path and fence improvements along the water’s edge from the existing Boardwalk and behind HSBC Arena to the DL&W Terminal and Ohio Street and as far as up to Main Street.
  • Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning (“OSP”), the Council:
    • Authorized OSP on behalf of the City of Buffalo to accept a grant in the amount of $4,130 from the New York State Historic Preservation Office to publish historic preservation outreach brochures. The purpose of the brochures will be to inform property owners living in historic districts of the benefits and requirements of owning and making changes to properties located within the City’s nine locally designated historic districts. The brochures will be a tri-fold design and will update a similar publication that was produced in 1990. The grant will be used to cover a nominal design fee and printing costs.
    • Authorized the Mayor to accept $1,458,000 in grant funding through the New York State Department of State Brownfield Opportunity Area (“BOA”) Program. The City of Buffalo in partnership with the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation (“BUDC”) applied for and received the grant award through the BOA Program to prepare a Step 3 Implementation Strategy for the South Buffalo BOA. BUDC is providing a 10 percent match for the grant and will also be managing most of the major tasks involved in the Step 3 BOA Project.
  • Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Fire, the Council:
    • Authorized the Department of Fire to accept and expend grant funds in the amount of $321,221 from the New York State Division of Homeland Security.  The funds will be used to continue to enhance the Metropolitan Medical Response Plan to respond to any range of mass casualty incidents from chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive events and epidemic outbreaks, natural disasters, and large-scale hazardous material incidents.
  • Upon the request of the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works (“DPW”), the Council:
    • Authorized DPW to enter into an agreement with the Federal Highway Administration (“FHWA”) and the New York State Department of Transportation (“NYSDOT”) for the design, construction, and construction inspection associated with the Signal Replacement Project. The purpose of the project is to replace traffic signals located in the City of Buffalo on Elmwood Avenue from Genesee to Chippewa Streets and Chippewa Street from Elmwood Avenue to Washington Street.
  • The Council approved the reports of bids from the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works for the following project:
    • The Ohio Street Improvements at Riverfest Park Project. Of the bids that were received, UCC Construction, Inc. was the lowest with a bid of $140,976.

 

 

For any questions, concerns, or further information regarding the above, please contact your District Council Member, the Common Council Legislative Staff Office, or the respective City Department.

To view replays of a Common Council Meeting please visit the City of Buffalo Government Television website at www.city-buffalo.com/Home/Government_TV.

To view the final Common Council Meeting agenda and/or supporting communications, please visit the City of Buffalo website at www.city-buffalo.com and select the Common Council link.

 

BUFFALO COMMON COUNCIL

David A. Franczyk

Council President

Fillmore District

1315 City Hall

851-4138

David A. Rivera

President Pro Tempore

Niagara District

1504 City Hall

851-5125

Richard A. Fontana

Majority Leader

Lovejoy District

1414 City Hall

851-5151

Michael J. LoCurto

Delaware District

1405 City Hall

851-5155

Darius G. Pridgen

Ellicott District

1408 City Hall

851-4980

Demone A. Smith

Masten District

1316-A City Hall

851-5145

Joseph Golombek, Jr.

North District

1502 City Hall

851-5116

Michael P. Kearns

South District

1401 City Hall

851-5169

Bonnie E. Russell

University District

1508 City Hall

851-5165

Common Council Legislative Staff Office

1413 City Hall

851-5105

 

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